Today we're feting the Sidecar cocktail, in honor of one of the unsung heroes among American literary characters, Eugene Morgan, the charismatic and enterprising automobile inventor who loses the love of his life, not once, but twice, in Booth Tarkington's classic The Magnificent Ambersons.
The Sidecar is literally one of the purest and easiest cocktails to make. This classic recipe is taken from Last Crumb:
1 oz Cognac or Armagnac
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker half full of ice. Shake or stir vigorously until very cold (no less than 20 seconds). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange wedge or a lemon rind.
The Magnificent Ambersons takes place just before the outbreak of World War I, but it's not hard to imagine Eugene Morgan as an early adopter at his gentleman's club. An energetic and progressive character, Eugene made his own fortune embracing new "horseless carriage" technology in a rapidly changing world. His oft-quoted and quintessential line, "There aren't any old times. When times are gone they're not old, they're dead! There aren't any times but new times!" was spoken during a moment of joviality upon renewing his acquaintance with his first sweetheart, Isabel, but those words would characterize one of the tragic themes of the novel, prophetic and apropos as his beloved's old money family finds themselves unable to adapt to the new world order, and as Isabel's misguided and reluctant son would seek to separate the star-crossed lovers once again. The final scene of The Magnificent Ambersons is one of the most bittersweet, heartwrenching, and wonderfully perfect endings I've ever read, and I think I'll read it again this evening, only this time I'll have a Sidecar at the ready to lift my spirits afterward.
POSTED BY: Jenny Q
The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
Professionally edited and formatted for today's readers!
Get the Legacy Vintage Collection Enhanced eBook Edition for $1.99!